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UN states secure High Seas Treaty

Treaty is aimed at addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

Photo by World Intellectual Property Organization on Wikimedia / CC BY 2.0

On Saturday, UN member countries finalized a legal framework aimed at ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated the UN member countries, calling it a breakthrough after nearly two decades of talks.

“This action is a victory for multilateralism and for global efforts to counter the destructive trends facing ocean health, now and for generations to come,” said the UN chief in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“The ship has reached the shore,” said Rena Lee, the UN conference president.

The legal framework, known as the High Seas Treaty, will designate 30 percent of the world’s oceans as protected areas and direct more funding into marine conservation. It also covers access to and use of marine genetic resources.